The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday

I’m getting more bang for my buck at Oxford

From comprehens­ive to Oxford, studying history and politics


Daniel Dipper was the first of his immediate family to go to university and the first from his comprehens­ive in Peterborou­gh to go to Oxford, along with two other successful applicants that year. The 19-year-old is in his second year at Magdalen College studying history and politics. He gets a full student loan and expects to finish his undergradu­ate studies with around £47,000 of debt. He works during the holidays to cover his living expenses, and while he worries about the rise in the cost of living, he’s not worried about starting his career with a huge student loan to pay off.

“I’ve always thought of it as a graduate tax. If I’m earning enough money that I can have £10,000 taken off me a year, then obviously I’ve done well,” he says.

Dipper has his sights on a career in consultanc­y and is already attending careers fairs.

Part of his confidence in his future earning capability inevitably comes from attending one of the top two universiti­es in the country. He knows he’s getting value for money, as his college, Magdalen, subsidises each student to the tune of £10,000. Oxbridge famously has small teaching tutorials and Dipper says: “I think going to Oxford I’m getting slightly more bang for my buck with the individual­ised teaching.”

He’s also making the most of the social capital available at a top university – one that educated the last three prime ministers.

“I’ve definitely seen how my writing skills have benefitted from my degree, but I also do a lot of extracurri­cular activities. I’m the undergradu­ate president of my college, which involves me writing lots of emails, and working with people from a wide range of background­s.

“I’m also librarian-elect of the Oxford Union, which I’ve found useful for developing logistical skills, networking as well as public speaking,” he says.

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